It’s Time that I Make Time for That

May 25, 2014 in Family Room by Melanie

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As I have noticed time marching lately, I have realized that I don’t always use the time I have in a way that I won’t regret. I can’t imagine looking back and wishing I had written one more  blog post or checked one more social status or even kept a cleaner home.

But I can imagine looking back and wishing I had made one more memory with my little cuties before they were grown and gone. Wishing I had done one more hard thing that taught me a great lesson and helped me grow. Wishing I had strengthened one more relationship that really mattered.

So in the spirit of making time for the things that really matter, here are the TOP 10 Most Important Ways to Spend My Time. Or… “It’s Time That I Make Time for That” Top 10:


♦ 1 ♦

Take every chance to hug and cuddle with the kiddos


No matter how much I think the whining and mess making will never end, I know one day I will look around and my house will be empty and my arms will ache to hold those little whiny mess makers. So while they are here now, I will ignore the whining and messes and cuddle up with those little cuties and get plenty of sticky kisses and grimy hugs — and love every second of it.

♦ 2 ♦

Make date night more than just a nice idea


Before we were Mr. & Mrs., we were the cutest little college couple in the history of college couples. Seriously. Random people in elevators and total strangers on campus would tell us what a cute couple we were. All the time. One of our secrets to being such a cute couple was that our relationship was so important to us. We moved schedules and changed plans to make time for each other.

Then we got married and thought “responsible adults” had to put everything else first. Over 16 years later we understand that our relationship really should come first, and we can move scheduled and change plans to make time for each other and still be “responsible adults.”

“I’m sorry, I have a previous commitment” is my new favorite phrase. I don’t have to explain myself or justify my reason for not committing to every demand on my time or obligation that is thrown at me. My family comes first. Period.

♦ 3 ♦

Fill my own bucket

dreamer silhouette

Do you ever feel that you put everyone else’s needs first and spend all of your time and energy for everyone else until you have nothing left for yourself? How can I help my family when I have nothing left to give? I have to take some time to do something for me, to grow as a person separate from my roles as wife and mother and chauffeur and cheerleader and chef and on and on…

So for me, I am finally going to learn how to take beautiful pictures with my fancy camera. I am going to write — really write — just because I love it. I am going to get outside and enjoy the beauty and majesty all around me. And I am going to find a way to prove to myself that I am still just as smart as I was before childbirth turned my brain to mush.

♦ 4 ♦

Be consistent even when it’s hard


We all have those things that we KNOW we should be doing, but it’s so hard to actually do them! For me the number one thing is piano lessons. Not to be braggy, but I really am a great pianist. So when I had kids I decided I would teach them all to play. Think of all the money we would save on piano lessons if I was their teacher!

I remember sitting in music class in 6th grade when my music teacher asked anyone who takes piano lessons to raise their hand. BUT, he said, if your mom is your piano teacher, that doesn’t count. I thought that was rude. My piano teacher was someone’s mother, and she was amazing!

I totally get it now. Beth started taking lessons when she was 4, and she’s on level 3 now. Yep, 11 years to get to level 3. Why is that? Because when you teach your kids — and only your kids — piano lessons get pushed aside for everything else that is going on. I am pretty sure there have been years when she has only had 2 lessons throughout the entire year.

When I taught piano lessons to other people’s kids, we always had our weekly lessons, but with my own kids, I am not nearly as consistent. Therefore, even though they can all play something, they really can’t play much of anything. That’s all going to change, baby, no matter how much kicking and screaming we have to deal with (even if I’m the one doing the kicking and screaming).

♦ 5 ♦

Yell to save a life; otherwise, keep my voice down


Our city library is located on the corner of Center and Main. Center is a lazy small town street with hardly any traffic, but Main St. really is the main road running through town and by far our busiest. One day a few years ago, we were coming out of the library. The car was parked on Main, and Chuck took off running straight for her side of the car, which was on the street side, not the sidewalk side.

So in my fierce mama voice reserved for life preservation, I yelled to her to stop. I got some of the dirtiest looks I have seen in awhile from people walking into the library who couldn’t believe I would dare yell at a child, but I didn’t care because I saved my baby girl’s life.

Unfortunately, there were times earlier that day when those looks may have been completely deserved, and that’s when I need to learn to keep my voice down. Yelling to “encourage” getting the chores done, stop the sibling squabbles, or keep the tired little kidlets in bed is not the right time to bring out the screaming banshee in me. So, life-saving yells are in. Non life-preserving yells are out.

♦ 6 ♦

Read one more story. Sing one more song. Give one more kiss.


Is bedtime really so vitally important that a few minutes are going to upset the delicate balance of life? They’re not going to be asking for *any* bedtime stories soon. They won’t want me to sing silly songs to them. They will think they’re too old and too cool for kisses. So while they are still asking for stories and songs and kisses, one more couldn’t hurt. In fact, one more is a great idea. And maybe one more after that.

♦ 7 ♦

Capture the magnificent and mundane moments


If the reason I take photos is to capture moments I want to remember forever, why not capture the everyday moments that I so often take for granted. I won’t always have little girls enjoying tea parties, having sleepovers in each other’s rooms giggling about nothing late into the night, or even all my young family together at the dinner table talking about the day. It’s fun to capture the special events, but I want to remember the non-events that I know will mean even more when they’re gone. I’m sure I won’t take a photo every day, but I will take photos more days than just holidays.

♦ 8 ♦

Be at the crossroads


I have noticed an amazing phenomenon in our house, and maybe you have seen the same thing in yours. Steve can walk through a room and everyone keeps on doing what they’re doing. They know he’s there, but it doesn’t disrupt their focus and they happily stick to the status quo. I can walk through the same room, and I get bombarded with “I want…” “I need…” “Mom, will you…”  Steve can find a quiet place to be alone. As soon as I follow him there to enjoy the quiet, the entire gang follows me.

Instead of being frustrated at the complete lack of solitude, I have decided to embrace the magnetic qualities of mother hood and put myself in the middle of everything. If I am in the middle of all the comings and goings in our home, then my girls will know I am there for them. If I make myself available for the small things, they will trust me to be there for the big things. If I listen to the trivial things, they will want to talk about the heavier things that really matter. If I put myself in the crossroads of our home, I will find myself in the crossroads of their lives.

♦ 9 ♦

Have more dancing days


Really great days in our family always seem to involve dancing — whether it’s the girls and I dancing to make the chores more bearable, Steve dancing me around the kitchen when he gets home from work, or the girls just being silly dancing for fun around the house. When we’re happy, we dance. We need more dancing, and more of the kind of days that make us want to dance.

♦ 10 ♦



I am a smiler. Well, maybe not as much as I used to be, but I want to be. It’s amazing how quickly a smile can change my whole outlook and attitude. I wholeheartedly believe in “fake it till you make it” when it comes to smiling. Even when I don’t feel like smiling — or maybe especially then — I am going to smile and let it work its magic in me. Even if I have to fake it at first, I know after awhile it will be the real deal. A smile is one of those things that you can give away and it keeps coming back to you. The more you give, the more you get.

What do you need to make some time for?


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